West African Warfare in Bahia and Cuba: Soldier Slaves in the Atlantic World, 1807-1844 (The Past and Present Book Series): Manuel Barcia

West African Warfare in Bahia and Cuba seeks to explain how a series of historical events that occurred in West Africa from the mid-1790s – including Afonja’s rebellion, the Owu wars, the Fulani-led jihad, and the migrations to Egbaland – had an impact upon life in cities and plantations in western Cuba and Bahia. Manuel Barcia examines the extent to which a series of African-led plots and armed movements that took place in western Cuba and Bahia between 1807 and 1844 were the result – or a continuation – of events that had occurred in and around the Yoruba and Hausa kingdoms in the same period.

Why did these two geographical areas serve as the theatre for the uprising of the Nagos, the Lucumis, and other West African men and women? The answer, Barcia argues, relates to the fact that plantation economies supported by unusually large numbers of African-born slaves from the same – or close – geographical and ethnic heritage, which transformed the rural and urban landscape in western Cuba and Bahia. To understand why these two areas followed such similar social patterns it is essential to look across the Atlantic – it is not enough to repeat the significance of the African background of Bahian and Cuban slaves. By establishing connections between people and events, with a special emphasis on their warfare experiences, Barcia presents a coherent narrative which spans more than three decades and opens a wealth of archival research for future study.


“In this slim but impressive book, Manuel Barcia takes a different path, focusing on the military background of the enslaved Yoruba and Hausa slaves and looks at their impact in Cuba as well as Brazil.” — John Thornton, Journal of African Military History
“Barcia’s study is genuinely transnational since it not only looks at two different
European societies in the Americas but also at Africa. The problems studying eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Africa are immense, and Barcia successfully navigates these tricky waters for readers…[I]mpressively researched and argued…[This
volume is] to be welcomed as making new contributions to the field.”–Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies
“[A] very valuable study in a new research field which can be recommended sincerely to colleagues and students.”–Reviews in History
“This admirable study contributes to a revisionist approach to the study of the Atlantic world by merging the details of slave resistance in Cuba and Brazil with revolutionary transformations in West Africa….Barcia’s powerful argument raises important questions that will lead to additional discussion worth reflecting upon.”–Paul E. Lovejoy, New West Indian Guide

About the Author

Manuel Barcia is Professor of Latin American History at the University of Leeds. He is also an Honorary Fellow at the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull. He co-edits Atlantic Studies: Global Currents, and is the author of two books and several articles focusing on the history of the African Diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean. He is also a frequent contributor to The Washington Spectator, Ihe Huffington Post, The Independent, and Al Jazeera in English. In 2014 he was awarded a prestigious Philip Leverhume Prize in History, given every year to researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising.

  • Paperback : 208 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0198754264
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0198754268
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press; Illustrated edition (June 1, 2016)

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